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Free Radon Test Kits at Presentations

Posted 3/16/2012

Two radon presentations are being offered through University of Nevada Cooperative Extension’s (UNCE) Radon Education Program this spring. The first, on April 7, will be held at the Clark County Library, 1401 Flamingo Road at 11:30 a.m. The second Radon presentation will be held at the Multigenerational Center in Henderson on May 12 at 2:30 p.m. Free test kits will be offered at each presentation.

Radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among nonsmokers. Every year, radon-induced lung cancer kills more people than secondhand smoke, drunk driving, falls in the home, drowning or home fires. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates 21,000 Americans die each year from lung cancer caused by indoor radon exposure.

In Clark County, 7.7 percent of the homes tested for radon have found elevated radon levels over the EPA Action Level of 4 pCi/l. In some areas, elevated radon levels are more prevalent. One-third of the homes tested in Moapa have found elevated radon levels, followed by 20 percent of homes in Boulder City, 16 percent in Henderson, and 10 percent in North Las Vegas. In Las Vegas, some areas show that between 10 to 67 percent of the homes had elevated radon levels. Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas present in many homes, schools and buildings, yet few people know about the health risk or have tested for it. It is an odorless, colorless, invisible gas that can reach harmful levels when trapped indoors. The only way to know what the radon levels are inside your home is to measure them. A simple three-day test can determine if a house has a radon problem. If high levels of radon are found, there is a way to reduce or mitigate radon levels.

"Now is an ideal time to test your home for radon, as most of us keep our homes closed up during the windy, spring weather," said Laura Au-Yeung, the Southern Area Radon Program coordinator. "If you are ready to test your home for radon, attend this short presentation and pick up your free, short-term test kit."

You can’t predict which homes will have high radon levels, as two neighboring homes can have very different radon levels. That is why UNCE’s Radon Education Program, the EPA and the Nevada State Health Division (NSHD) urge all Nevadans to test their homes for radon. Test kits are available at Cooperative Extension offices statewide for a nominal fee. In Clark County, they are available at the UNCE office, 8050 Paradise Road, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call the Nevada Radon Hotline for more information on test kits at 1-888-723-6610.

Radon can enter any home — old or new, well-sealed or drafty. Homes with a basement slab on grade or crawl space foundations are susceptible to having elevated levels of radon. Variables that determine radon levels include how the home was constructed, lifestyle factors and the strength of the radon source beneath the house.

If you do have elevated levels of radon in your home, most problems can be fixed by a certified radon mitigator for a cost similar to that of many common home repairs. For further information or to schedule a presentation, email Au-Yeung, call 702-257-5550, or visit the Radon website.

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